The 2011 Big 10 Pharma Update in 60 Seconds

Pharma IQ

Pharma IQ provides you with a digestible update of  what has been happening at the Top 10 Global Corporations of 2010, according to IMS Health Midas.

1.  Pfizer $55.6 million

The largest research-based pharmaceutical company in the world, Pfizer set an industry record in 2010 by having 15 brands which surpassed the $1 billion sales mark, with Sutent, Lyrica, Prevnar and Enbrel all achieving success.

In February of this year it signalled its intention to refocus research and development strategy on the areas which look most promising for success, with neuroscience, oncology, inflammation and immunology and vaccines seen among key targets.

2. Novartis $46.8 million

Novartis has this year emerged as the dominant force in the eye care sector, following the completion of its merger with Alcon. The combined company now owns 70 percent of the worldwide vision care sector, an area which is expected to grow in value as the global population begins to age.

The company also believes it will be among the least affected from the impending patent cliff, having had 21 percent of net sales in 2010 from products launched since 2007, excluding products from Alcon.

3. Merck & Co $38.5 million

Merck also recently made a foray into the eye care sector with the acquisition of Inspire Pharmaceuticals, with the latter now existing as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck. Completed in May, Merck said the deal "positions us for future growth with an expanded portfolio and a best in class commercialisation organisation."

The company is currently in the process of launching 10 different medications worldwide and signalled its commitment to biosimilars in its 2010 annual report.

4. Sanofi-Aventis $35.9 million 

After months of wrangling, Sanofi-Aventis completed its acquisition of Genzyme Corporation in April, sparking the creation of a centre for rare diseases and further expansion of the company's biotechnology capabilities.

In the next 12 months it expects to make regulatory filings for three late stage pipeline projects, lixisenatide for diabetes, and alemtuzumab and teriflunomide for multiple sclerosis patients.

5. AstraZeneca $35.5 million 

AstraZeneca is among the companies already experiencing the effects a flood of generics entering the market, claiming its 4 percent dip in revenue during the first quarter was due to increased competition in the US and Western Europe.

However, it is keen to highlight the potential of its drug pipeline, which current includes 92 projects in the clinical phase of development, including nine new molecular entities in late stage development.

6. GlaxoSmithKline $33.7 million 

GSK has signalled it intends to step up its R&D programme in the months ahead, having already had three successful regulatory approvals in 2011 for Lupus drug Benlyst and Restless Leg Sydrome therapy Horizant in the US, as well as epilepsy drug Trobalt in Europe.

It has, however, seen a £1 billion sales dip in sales of its pandemic products Avandia and Valtre so far this year.

7. Roche $32.7 million

Roche has seen some negative press surrounding its Avastin metastatic breast cancer treatment in the US, but says it hopes to turn this around with trial results on how the drug could be used as a therapy for ovarian cancer.

Meanwhile, it has announced positive results from six key clinical trials during the first quarter of 2011, which it expects will support new marketing applications or extensions to existing products in the future.

8. Johnson & Johnson $26.8 million

Johnson & Johnson currently ranks as the world's fifth largest biotech company and has recently signalled its commitment to investing in its pipeline, which has seen six products launch since 2009, across multiple regions. A further two therapies are currently undertaking a regulatory review and the company expects to file 11 new products and 15 extensions between now and 2015.

9. Abbott $23.9 million 

Abbott recently received a setback when its AIM-HIGH trail for Niaspan was called off 18 months early by the National Institutes of Health, due in part to an indication that one of the therapy combinations could have increased stroke risk.

Yet, its programme of acquisitions and licensing agreements in 2010 leave it well placed to capitalise on growth in emerging markets. Its acquisition of generics company Piramal Healthcare Solutions made it the number one pharmaceutical business in India.

10. Eli Lilly $22.1 million

This year has so far already seen the global release of two of Lilly'smajor products – diabetes drug TRADJENTA and testosterone replacement therapy Axiron and saw increased demand in international markets drive first quarter growth.

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